Battleship bundeswehr

According to a survey by the german armed forces association, the troops are seething

On thursday, the german armed forces celebrated the 50th. Anniversary of the enlistment of the first conscripts. On the same day, a comprehensive study was published, revealing that the soldiers are highly dissatisfied – especially with foreign missions.

The german armed forces association is often referred to as "union" of the soldiers described. Under the title "now you talk" had its 210.000 members from the 10. December 2006 until 28. February 2007 called to participate in a survey. 45.000 participated – including 24.000 active soldiers and 12.000 participants in foreign missions. The survey was analyzed in a study of more than 1.200 pages by political scientist gerd strohmeier at the university of passau. Last week, the bundeswehr association presented the results of this analysis.

Mood killer foreign deployments

One of the results was that 73.7% of professional soldiers would not recommend their chosen career to their children. Despite (or perhaps because of) the supposed crisis security due to the unforeseeable increase in foreign deployments. Almost half (48.7%) regret their choice of profession even for themselves and would not become a soldier again if they had to make another choice.

Soldiers directly involved in foreign missions made a particularly negative impression. 77.3% consider the frequency of foreign deployments to be inappropriate and less than 10% see themselves supported by the population in these deployments – which does not necessarily strengthen motivation. 46% of the soldiers involved in foreign missions feel overburdened during these missions and almost a quarter describe the preparation for the mission in retrospect as being "insufficient". The study sees overload and inadequate training as potential causes of serious failures. Accordingly, the soldiers are dissatisfied with politics: only 3.8% overall and 1.8% of professional soldiers feel supported by it.

The results of the survey are one of many blows that defense minister franz-josef jung has had to take lately. In march, reinhold robbe, the german parliament’s commissioner for the armed forces, stated that soldiers live in moldy barracks and that their trust in their employers is not as high as it should be "permanently shaken" is. Three weeks later, the inspector general of the german armed forces, wolfgang schneiderhan, warned in his bundeswehr plan for 2008 of serious problems in recruiting new recruits.

Even of those who participated in the study, only one in ten gives the bundeswehr’s efforts to find qualified new recruits a chance. In fact, reports about initiation rites and amateur videos, which caused a sensation worldwide, strengthened the impression that the troops are already partly imprinted by the mental dregs of the population, which also seem to determine the interaction with each other.

The chairman of the german armed forces association, bernhard gertz, spoke of a "of a highly alarming mood in the armed forces", which had to be countered with more money. More cost-effective would have been a reduction in the number of the now more than 9,000.000 german soldiers abroad or savings on prestige projects that critics consider excessive, such as the a 400 m airlifter, the procurement of frigates and corvettes for ocean warfare and the overpriced eurofighter, whose manufacturer, eads, is facing increasingly concrete accusations of corruption.

In any case, it is expected that the discontent will soon be met with money. According to cassius dio, the roman emperor septimus severus gave his sons three pieces of advice on his deathbed: "be united, enrich the soldiers and despise all others." the non-observance of the second advice had potentially negative consequences for the rulers not only in the roman history, but also in other historical epochs: the revolution at the end of the first world war was also caused in large part by discontented soldiers and sailors.